Bethenny Frankel’s Mom Passes Away After Battle With Lung Cancer


Bethenny Frankel announces the death of her mother, Bernadette Birk. Find out what the Real Housewives of New York alum said about her mother’s passing.

It’s no secret that Bethenny Frankel and her mom, Bernadette Birk, had a complicated and estranged relationship. Over the years, the Skinnygirl mogul shared details about their strained relationship on the Real Housewives of New York and her spinoff show, Bethenny Ever After.

Because of this, it was surprising to Bravo fans when Bethenny Frankel publicly announced the passing of her mom on Saturday, April 20.

Bethenny Frankel (right) and her mother Bernadette Birk.
Bethenny Frankel (right) and her mother Bernadette Birk. Photo: BETHENNY FRANKEL/INSTAGRAM

Bernadette Birk passed on April 19, 2024, at the age of 73, in Sunrise, Florida.

The RHONY alum took to social media to share the sad news with a series of photos featuring her and Bernadette over the years.

Naturally, Bethenny Frankel’s post about her mom detailed their complicated relationship and how that ultimately fueled her to be a better mom to her own daughter, Bryn Hoppy, whom she shares with her ex-husband, Jason Hoppy.

On Instagram, the Bethenny Frankel shared:

“My mother has died of lung cancer. She was complex, in pain, isolated, and had demons. She was the most stunning woman you have ever seen, who left her abusive home as quickly as I ran from mine. I was born on her bday

She was brilliant, funny, cultured, and wise — yet suffered a lifelong eating disorder, alcoholism, abuse, smoking, and self-destruction. Despite not being equipped to be a mother, she loved me, and I have beautiful memories of her.

She taught me food, wit, culture, and strength. She loved to dance.

I won’t sugarcoat it. I was an adult long before Bryn’s age, experiencing things no young child should endure.

This made me strong, tough, a survivor who is able to handle anything. The universe gave me the most beautiful daughter and my childhood gave me inspiration to break the chain.

We reconnected so my daughter could know and love her. She adored Bryn, and they shared a love of art. She had one friend, so my lifelong wish was granted that she wasn’t alone. She was selfish in life yet selfless in death. She left what little she had to my daughter, wished to be cremated, and wanted no one to be notified besides me.

I had a sixth sense she had passed. I had started to release some trauma, was dancing to the song “I’m alive” in her favorite designer Alaia dress as she was dying.

I remember her as a young woman during periods of happiness loving me and long for those memories of affection. I mourn her loss, her life, her loneliness and my childhood.  I mourn her inability to experience motherhood, the most beautiful gift of a lifetime.

Goodbye mom, Bonnie, Bernadette. You did the best you could and you are free and at peace.

I miss my mommy as a little girl and I am grateful for my daughter consistently pushing to meet her and myself for re opening old wounds for their relationship.

I think of you on this journey with me releasing your trauma and I hug you. Life is about loss and loving. I have had shame in never really having family, yet my very small group of friends, my beautiful Bryn, and you are my family.

Ps. Please call, connect with, or hug someone you have a complicated relationship with today. #motherhood #loss #parenting #loveyoumom”

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